How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Phoenix AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Phoenix AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Phoenix AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Phoenix AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, most Phoenix AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Phoenix AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Phoenix AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Phoenix AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Phoenix AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Phoenix AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Phoenix AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Phoenix AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Phoenix Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Phoenix AZ.